Detroit heads towards a mandatory surveillance state


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Yes: Let’s escalate the crackdown because that solves problems.

Any day now.

(I’m aware that this is probably just a prototype for a larger system, inflicted upon an already traumatized population who can’t really say no.)


Yes. Enrollment in Project Green Light requires police officers to visit your site on a weekly basis.



Strange, it sounds more like wholesale surveillance.


What a waste of taxpayer money. Detroit has larger problems and crime is merely a side effect. But sure, let’s jail more of them poors. Maybe if we jail enough of them all the rich folk will be safe.


As usual, the only way to really curb this sort of activity is to impose negative consequences for them doing it. If their only real incentive is positive, then they almost always go ahead, do it, and laugh at you.




Sue Detroit. I hear they don’t have money.


“Shop keepers who participate in the program benefit by receiving prioritized Emergency Response Services when calling 911.”

This is so many flavors of wrong that it’s a Baskin-Robbins franchise.

I’d like to hope this fails in about ten minutes in court - “Equal protection under the law” comes to mind.


This reminds me of taxes pertaining to the fire department in rural areas, where in some parts of the country someone’s property could be just outside the limits of a town or city so them paying taxes on it is optional. The downside of not doing so means that if their house catches fire but their neighbors do the fire department will stand just outside your home and watch it burn, and will only intervene if the fire is a hazard to the neighbor.


There was a story recently on one of the Detroit TV news casts about a shop owner who was an early adopter of the Project Green Light cameras. He was complaining that it hadn’t helped with theft from his shop, because the shoplifters just wear hoodies and sunglasses. The cops look at the tapes and say “We can’t tell who that is. Sorry”. Guy was kinda pissed. So yeah, probably not the best use of money.


These businesses open at 2:00AM are not being staffed by the 1%ers. They are staffed by the working poor, those not fortunate enough to have day jobs. And have you been to Detroit? Reducing robberies is a workplace safety issue, plain and simple.

So your argument that this is not helping poor people isn’t holding water.


I was being sarcastic. I was implying that they would be happy to jail as many poor people as it took as a means to “make the city safe”.


I thought you were using sarcasm to accuse Detroit of wasting money that could otherwise have been spent helping the poor.

I don’t see it as a waste. I see it as a form of workplace safety, like OSHA requiring handrails on balconies. And it’s a measure that could help the working poor.


I have never gotten the impression that Mayor Duggan was interested in jailing 90%+ of the residents. Stopping armed robberies which frequently result in injury or death appears to be the goal. This is a wasteful, ham-handed way to go about it, though.


I do think its a waste of money. The sarcasm was on my second statement, but if i have to explain then sure.

Policies like that aim to “fight crime” are mainly excuses to further harass, intimidate, and exploit minorities and the poor. Jailing more of them will only bring more money for private prisons, the police, and the justice system through tickets, fees, grants, civil forfeiture, etc. Where you see workplace safety i see a continuing history of racist policing that exploits the poor.

You really want to make change? Spend money on actually improving the city. Surveillance is not effective in a meaningful way and sows distrust in the city and law enforcement, it only bullies the already oppressed. Also offering priority response from law enforcement for businesses that pay into this program? If that doesn’t sound like bullshit and suspicious i don’t know what is.


He might be well meaning and misguided, i’m not saying that’s his explicit and intentional goal but that it’s actually a thing that exists speaks for itself. I don’t envy any politician looking to “clean up” the city, looks like a hell of a job to undertake. I don’t even live near that part of the country so maybe i should shut up, but i don’t think i’m out of line being concerned about this program.



And there is no Alex Murphy in this reality to make things better.